HOUSTON, TX, APR. 10 - Red Bull Honda's Andrew Short is officially making his return to the AMA Supercross Championship in Houston, Texas. Chad Reed is also back in full dress and on the track, but the Monster Energy Kawasaki rider is not 100 percent sure he's going to be racing tonight. Reed's wife, Ellie, is in the hospital back in Florida preparing for the arrival of their first child, so Reed may have to rush home for the birth of his son.
"I'm waiting for the phone to ring," said Reed. "The due day is the 24th but she's been having contractions since Tuesday. I'm want to race tonight. I'm really excited to be back; it's been a long time. I'm looking to get out there and do well and just have fun."
As far as his expectations for tonight (assuming he doesn't have to hop a flight back to Tampa), Reed sounds modest. "The two Ryan's are both doing really well this year and I haven't even ridden 20 laps at this point. So I'm just shooting to complete 20 laps."
Andrew Short is also back on the track. The Red Bull Honda rider was running third in the championship before crashing hard in San Diego. Short has been out ever since with an injured ankle but now makes his return at Houston's Reliant Stadium. We caught up with Shorty for a few words between practice sessions.
Is this your home race?
Yeah, it is, pretty much. I'm about two hours from here in Austin. I'm excited to get back on the track and be here with friends and family.
It must be nice to be back.
Yeah. I haven't been riding for very long but just tried it a couple weeks ago and just came out to get a gague and see where I'm at and see what I need to work on and get some time and laps, rubbing elbows with some people.
What have you been doing in your time off?
Just real typical - a lot of rest for the ankle. I just been doing a lot of stuff in the industry, a lot of things for Honda and Fly Racing, my sponsors. I've been going to the races still and handling some things that when I'm racing I don't have the opportunity to do. More like bookwork and stuff like that that you put off. Time flew in one aspect and the other it took forever. Being off the bike and doing what you love, it takes forever.
We didn't hear much about your actual injury. What exactly did you injure?
In San Diego I fractured my talus bone in my ankle and typically you'd be out a little longer than I was but I've had a previous fracture on my calcaneus (heel bone) and my tibia/fibula so it's all kinda fused itself naturally together. It's still pretty sore, but only when I cased it or put it down, catch it in a rut or something. Other than that I'm pretty solid.
What percentage are you at going into tonight?
I don't know. Definitely not 100%, but I know that coming in and realistically with me being here, I just need to get some laps and see where I'm at. My foot will gradually get better in time, obviously.
What do you think of the track here at Reliant Stadium?
The track tonight here in Houston is really tough. I don't know if it's because I've been off for so long or what. The whoops are really big and there's a technical rhythm section I'm kinda struggling with, but every time I go on the track I'm feeling a little better.
What are your expectations for tonight?
My expectations... if I get a good start, chase that podium. If not, just put in 20 consistent laps, and next weekend I'll resume that goal of getting on the podium. I know I can hang it out a little more since I'm not in the points any more.